by Matt Rome
January 28, 2011
As D-Day for the Verizon iPhone approaches, many have been speculating that AT&T will experience a massive exodus of iPhone customers looking to move to a new carrier, but the fact is there is at least one major factor preventing a massive shift; contracts. According to All Things Digital and reportedly confirmed by AT&T, 90 percent of iPhone owners are still under contract with AT&T. This means that in order to break from AT&T, contracted customers would have to pay a massive $325 early termination fee. This would be in-addition to any Verizon start-up costs, namely the purchase of a CDMA capable iPhone. Verizon, of course, is trying to ease that financial burden by offering trade-in credit on most old iPhones ranging from $60 to $360 in value, but the simple fact remains that even at the highest trade-in value, only a portion of the associated costs will be covered. AT&T does expect to see some customer loss at launch (presumably from the big cities where reports of reception issues and dropped calls are the worst), but no more than roughly 2 million customers, which equates to only approximately 10 percent of AT&T's iPhone customer base. What do you think, will customers already intent on switching hold out until their contracts expire? Let us know in the comments.